Lennon: Results against Hearts won't define my Hibs tenure

The Easter Road boss played down the intensity of the derby ahead of Friday's meeting.

Neil Lennon insists his tenure as Hibs head coach won't be defined by results against Hearts.

The Northern Irishman will take charge of his sixth match in charge at Easter Road against the Jam Tarts on Friday night having suffered his first taste of defeat in the fixture last time out.

Both sides have enjoyed 1-0 victories either side of a 0-0 draw this campaign, with Hibs getting the upper hand in the Premiership and Hearts exacting revenge in the Scottish Cup.

Speaking ahead of the Edinburgh derby Lennon played down the intensity of the fixture and said his focus is on taking his club to the next level, not just earning local bragging rights.

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He said: "I'm not going to be defined as Hibs manager by derby results, if that's what Hibs fans are looking for then they've got the wrong man in charge.

"I'm looking at the far bigger picture of progressing the club, if we win some derbies along the way then so be it."

He added: "At the end of the day it's a league game. It's vital to win the game to close the gap on Aberdeen and Rangers.

"The important thing is to win, we're not playing for a trophy just yet but a European place would be as good as a trophy."

Lennon experienced the powderkeg atmosphere of the Old Firm derby first as a player and more recently as coach of Celtic before travelling along the M8 to become a central figure in the capital's derby day.

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The former Hoops midfielder and manager says the rivalry in Edinburgh is much tamer than that offered up by Glasgow.

He said: "I enjoy these a lot more than I enjoyed the Glasgow one.

"The build-up isn't as intense or as fraught but the result is still the same, you want to win it and you know what it means to the support.

"There is still pressure but I certainly enjoy these derbies more as they're a lot tamer than the Glasgow one yet still to be savoured and enjoyed."

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